Healing and protecting our dogs’ paws are essential because many of us take them out in all kinds of weather and on all kinds of terrains. As the weather becomes more extreme (very hot or icy cold) we need to be mindful of the impact hot or freezing surfaces can have on our dogs’ paw pads. Hot tarmac and cement can burn your dog’s paws if you are not careful and cause serious harm. On icy wintry days, dogs can even get frostbite on their feet. If you have a new puppy, take extra care with their delicate, young paws.
The elements and where your dog sleeps can also damage other areas of your their body including their nose and elbows.
An effective natural balm that is rich in anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to renew and repair the skin, like smith&burton’s Heal & Protect Soothe Balm, has multiple uses. It can be regularly and generously applied to your dog’s paw pads, elbows (and other areas where they may have developed a callus, abrasions and rashes) and can be used to moisturise their dry nose.
Here are some tips on how to best use a dog balm to safely and effectively care for your dog’s paws, nose and elbows:
Caring for Paws
- Start with grooming: For healthy feet all year-round, good grooming is vital. If your dog has long fur between their pads, use a clipper to keep the hair between the paw pads short so that it is level with the pad.
- Trim the fur around your dog’s paws to ensure none of their hair touches the ground. On cold wintry walks, this prevents ice balls from forming between and around the paw pads, which can be painful. On rough terrains, this helps prevent burs and other debris getting tangled in this area.
- Keep the nails trimmed all year round, preventing them from catching and causing a torn nail.
- Prevent and protect their paws from cutting, cracking, peeling or blistering. If left untreated, minor injuries leave your dog’s paws more vulnerable to burns and other serious issues.
Protect paws by creating a barrier from the elements and terrains with an all-natural balm like smith&burton’s Heal & Protect Soothe Balm. This all-natural product is lick safe so you can apply this generously and frequently. A balm can easily and quickly be smeared onto their paw pads. Balms are designed to protect your dog’s feet from hot or icy surfaces, potentially harmful chemicals found on pavements or roads and rough terrains.
If you notice your dog feeling tender on its feet during walks, then check their paw pads. If you find your dog’s pads are cracked and feel dry, then apply a balm to daily and you will notice they will feel moisturised, smoother and healed in no time. Using a balm on the dog’s paw pads works in the same way as a hand cream does on cracked, chaffed hands. Not all dog balms are created equal. Look for a high-quality product such as smith&burton Heal & Protect Soothe Balm, with powerful healing properties, 100% natural that shows immediate results.
For winter: If you are heading out on a wintry walk, apply a thin, even layer of balm just before going out. After the walk, wipe your dog’s paws with a warm cloth to remove any surface grime, snow, ice and slush. Finish with applying another layer of balm to soothe, nourish and hydrate your dog’s paws.
If you’ve taken your dog on a walk and it’s been frosty, as soon as you get home, wash their paws with warm water. This prevents them from licking and ingesting any nasties, which your dog might have picked up on its paws.
- For summer: avoid walking dogs on hot asphalt, roads and concrete pavements, especially during the day when the surface heats up. Once these surfaces have cooled down in the evenings is always best. If walking on these surfaces is unavoidable, then apply a balm to their paw pads before your walk to help form a barrier and give protection.
- For rough terrains: After a walk on rough terrain, check your dog’s paws for burs, thorns or sharp objects. If the object looks deeply embedded in your dog’s paws, you may need to talk them to the vet to have it removed safely.
- For all year round: Prevention is always better than seeing your dog in pain and discomfort. Lots of road walking can dry their paw pads, so check them regularly as part of your grooming routine. Damage to your dog’s paw pads can be avoided by walking them on grass, regularly applying balm, avoid taking them out for walks on icy cold or extremely hot surfaces.
Caring for Noses
Your dog’s nose gets dry in a similar way as our lips get chapped. Causes for your pooch’s dry nose ranges from sleeping next to a heater or heat pump, exposure to a cold wind, a poorly ventilated room or spending too much time sunbathing!
An all-natural balm with multiple uses can be safely applied directly onto your dog’s nose to keep it moist and healthy.
If your dog has a short snout, for example, Pugs or Bulldogs, they’ll find it harder to lick their nose. With these breeds, you need to pay extra attention to their nose and help them keep it wet by regularly applying a moisturising balm.
With all breeds, make sure your dog is hydrated, especially after a long walk. Dehydration is another leading cause of dry noses.
A dry nose can also be a sign of an allergy or illness, so take your pooch to the vet if you’re unsure.
Caring for Elbows
Elbows can be another problem area, and while all dogs can develop calluses, they are more prone to them if they are a heavy breed and short-coated dogs like Labradors, Mastiffs, Basset Hounds and Great Danes. Your dog is also more vulnerable if they are senior, injured, have arthritis, or spend a lot of time lying down on hard surfaces.
To prevent calluses forming, encourage your pooch to sleep on their bed. Spending a long time lying on a hard surface creates pressure on their joints. Encourage your dog onto their bed, mat, blanket or similar with a treat and praise them when they jump in.
Elbow calluses can irritate your pooch so early intervention is key. As soon as you notice discoloured skin or hair loss around their elbows, you should apply a multiple-use all-natural balm specifically designed for dogs.
Balms also help prevent calluses from forming. Apply to your dog’s elbows and other problem areas (they can also develop on the sternum) as part of your pooch’s regular grooming and maintenance routine.
Many more uses for an all-natural balm
Find a multiple-use dog balm and keep it on hand as you’ll be surprised at its many uses. One like smith&burton Heal & Protect Soothe Balm can be applied onto your dog’s paws, nose and elbows. It can also be used to protect, heal and soothe other problems like rashes and hot spots, abrasions and can even heal scars from an injury or surgery, and humans can use it too!
While you may be tempted to apply a human barrier ointment with petroleum jelly, this is not recommended. Your dog is likely to lick their paws, skin and coat and therefore ingest the product, which can cause stomach irritation and diarrhea.
Select a balm that has multiple purposes including moisturising and healing properties, and one that acts as a barrier from the weather and the terrain. You are likely to use it often, so choose one that is natural, easy to apply and lick-safe.